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By Susan Salk on January 27, 2012
Laura Hansen squinted against the California sun as the gleaming, perfectly balanced racehorse loaded onto the trailer that would whisk him off to Hollywood Park.
As she ran her experienced eye over the rippled muscles and squarely built form of Innocent Til Proven, a deeply pedigreed Thoroughbred, and half brother to Three Chimney’s stud Yes It’s True, she knew exactly what she saw.
This was no racehorse; this was a show horse.
By Susan Salk on January 24, 2012
And on that June day in 2004, sports fans like her father, who didn’t usually follow horse racing, paused to watch chestnut colt Smarty Jones make a flying bid at winning what hadn’t been won in decades.
“My dad called me in to watch. He said a horse was going to win the Triple Crown, and that it was something to remember, and it was something to see,” Scott says.
In losing the great race that day, coming in second to Birdstone, Smarty Jones won something else; he captured the heart of a passionate girl whose young life would change indelibly after that race.
By Susan Salk on January 20, 2012
Joell Dunlap was struggling to make her instructions carry across the riding ring, above the din of a howling wind, to her young student who couldn’t quite grasp the concept of holding tighter to reins. After several minutes of watching the child and horse flail, Dunlap strode across the riding ring, and in a loud, commanding voice, said, “I just really need you to hold your right rein!” And the child, diagnosed with autism from an early age, and so sweet and eager to please, leaned over and whispered in her ear, “I’m trying.” When she describes that moment, Dunlap’s […]